The prayer diary during Autumn 1980 is packed with God-given responses. In particular, prayers about a new church organist and the future of church music resulted in an extraordinary answer. One of the young people from my previous church in Blackburn, Andrew Gosden, volunteered to work full-time with us before he became a student at Magdalene College. He and his parents entered our church story with significant impact. As did the new leader of our young people. Prayers continued for Caxton and Willingham where one of our members had become minister. At every turn positive things were happening.
Approaching Christmas, the Evangelism group turned its attention to those who lived nearest to the church, visiting the homes with invitations to our Christmas events. Nearly 1000 people were contacted with special emphasis on an OPEN DAY on Saturday December 20th. to see the church decorations, enjoy refreshments, hear singing and enjoy meeting us.
The pavement outside the church was heaving with Christmas shoppers as the supermarket next door went into consumer hyper-drive. Weather was cold and as we opened the doors at 10:00 am we truly offered warmth! New lighting inside the front porch and carol singing added to the welcome. As we had found before a stream of total strangers began coming in. Some because of the invitations, others drawn in by the sounds of Christmas and the warmth. Some sat down and joined in the carols with the group singing at the front. Periodically I said a word about the true purpose of Christmas. It was a joy to see people put down their bulging bags and share with us. Pausing for Christmas truth.
From counting cups of tea and mince pies afterwards we knew that over 500 people had come in. And at the following services there were some new friends attracted through the invitations and Open Day. Our celebration of Christ born for us was truly joyful. Being on the main street had again proved significant for mission.